Florida and Mexican Seaports Agree to Enhance Trade

LOI signing

Published Nov 21, 2019 6:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

On behalf of Florida’s 15 seaports, the Florida Ports Council has entered into a Letter of Intent with the Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine of Mexico to maintain relations that promote international commerce and economic development.

Mexico is Florida's second largest trading partner. In 2018, trade between Mexico and Florida reached $10.8 billion. According to the United States Department of Commerce, this was an 8.3 percent increase over 2017 in exports alone. 

With this growth trend, the ports say they have an opportunity to expand ocean carrier services, create more jobs and strengthen both markets. A key joint initiative of the Letter of Intent includes the creation of a working group of maritime commerce leaders from Mexico and Florida to review and identify issues, opportunities and challenges of enhancing the flow of international commerce between Mexico and Florida. The working group’s efforts will include data analysis, identification of technological and regulatory enhancements and development of infrastructure facilitating sea transport.

Last summer, the Florida Ports Council and Enterprise Florida, with the support of the Consulate General of Mexico in Miami, led a delegation of representatives from seaports on a trade mission to Mexico City to promote the all-water trade route between Florida and Mexican gulf ports.

Juan Kuryla, Chairman of the Florida Ports Council and PortMiami Director, said, “The all-water route from Mexico to Florida ports is the fastest way to move cargo, while saving on transportation and logistics costs.”

Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and EFI President & CEO, said: “This strategic partnership will develop new trade opportunities to help Florida manufacturers further expand in the Mexican market. EFI will continue to work with our economic development partners across the state to create new opportunities, like the seaport trade mission to Mexico City, so that Florida’s small- and medium-sized businesses can grow internationally and create jobs here at home.”